NEW DELHI: The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) on Tuesday "strongly deplored" Sonia Gandhi's suggestion of imposing a ban on media advertisements by the government and PSUs for two years, saying the Congress president's call was "highly demoralising" for media personnel.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Sonia Gandhi made various suggestions for fighting COVID-19 including imposing a "complete ban on media advertisements - television, print and online - by the government and Public Sectors Undertakings (PSUs) for a period of two years".
NBA strongly deplores the suggestion by the Congress President to impose a complete ban on media advertisements, the news broadcasters body's president Rajat Sharma said in a statement.
"At a time when media personnel, without fearing for their lives, are doing their national duty by disseminating news on the pandemic, a statement like this from the Congress President is highly demoralizing," he said.
On one hand there has been a slump in advertisement revenues of electronic media due to recession, on the other hand it is suffering from financial blows due to nationwide lockdown of all industries and businesses, Sharma asserted.
"Moreover, news channels are spending heavily on providing safety to their reporters and production staff. To suggest a 'complete ban' on government and PSU advertisements is not only ill-timed, but highly arbitrary," he said.
NBA calls upon the Congress President to withdraw her suggestion made to the prime minister about the "complete ban" on media advertisements for two years in the interest of a "healthy and free media", the statement said. PTI